This post is sponsored by Amazon Handmade
The last couple of weeks have been a blur of Christmas markets, getting online orders out and attempting to do some Christmas gift shopping. This year I have been shopping handmade as much as possible and supporting campaigns such as Just A Card which champions designer makers and small businesses.
I love encouraging you guys to support handmade, so here are some of the ways I’m approaching my Christmas gift shopping!
Visit your local craft market
I live in Cambridge which has a great weekly market in the city centre. As well as grabbing fruit and veg, I like to visit on Sundays to see local makers and we even have an additional arts and crafts market which is a treasure trove of goods! If you’re looking for something near you, a great way to search is by using the local events pages on Facebook. I usually click via an event I’ve been to and then it cleverly finds similar markets for me to visit.
Online market places
Market places such as Amazon Handmade are usually on my list for finding unique gifts. If I’m looking for personalised items or something like our table favour bags for Christmas dinner, this is the kind of place I’ll visit.
What is great about the market place sites is that they allow makers to grow their businesses in an affordable way – we usually pay a small fee to host and sell our creations and it gives us a whole audience of shoppers to reach!
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Many creatives will be using their takings from the festive season to keep going during the quieter months in businesses. All those Christmas sales will probably be helping them pay their mortgages in January and will give them funds to work on more product development.
Try making your own gifts
This one doesn’t always turn out well for me – hence why I shop online for handmade gifts instead! I went to a gathering with some girl friends this week and we made gifts for each other. Let’s just say my edible gifts weren’t that presentable! We all laughed about it in the end though and was delighted to receive some blackberry gin, cupcakes, a Christmas pudding and a self care kit.
My tips for making your own gifts would be to start early (I may have been rush finishing gifts on Christmas eve in the past) and to be realistic with what you think you can complete. Work out a timescale!
One year I received a handmade goody bag of Christmas treats from a family member and it was so thoughtful. I enjoyed jam, Christmas cake and chutney which was a real treat. They don’t always have to be edible though, a knitted scarf or scrapbook of favourite photos have been on my to make list in the past too.
So there you have it, a few ways I support handmade over the Christmas season! I’m not making many gifts this year, but I have found some fantastic makers to buy from and I’m lucky enough to have customers shopping my makes for their loved ones too. I’m off to work on my new festive cross stitch kit and visit the Lincoln Christmas markets this weekend. I’m definitely in the mood now! How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? I’d love to hear any tips you have!